Introduction To Problem Analysis


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How to trace a problem to its causes in order to solve it.

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Introduction To Problem Analysis

  1. 1. Introduction to Problem Analysis Dr. Elijah Ezendu FIMC, FCCM, FIIAN, FBDI, FAAFM, FSSM, MIMIS, MIAP, MITD, ACIArb, ACIPM, PhD, DocM, MBA, CWM, CBDA, CMA, MPM, PME, CSOL, CCIP, CMC, CMgr
  2. 2. Learning Objectives At the end of the course, participants should be able to do the following: • Identify importance of problem analysis • Identify workable model for problem analysis • Apply multiple techniques of problem analysis in ascertainment of key causes • Use problem analysis to increase effectiveness of managerial capacity
  3. 3. Problem Analysis is used to find the cause of a positive or negative deviation. When people, machinery, systems, or processes are not performing as expected, Problem Analysis points to the relevant information and leads the way to the root cause. The process is used to gather and analyze just the information needed to find and correct the true cause of a problem, making it particularly effective in today’s data-rich environment. This promotes rapid and accurate issue resolution. Source: Kepner-Tregoe
  4. 4. “Problem analysis can be defined as dissecting and thoroughly studying a problem with the objective to understand how the problem emerged and how it grew to its current proportions.” - Coert Visser
  5. 5. “It is the theory through which we observe a situation that decides what we can observe.” - Einstein
  6. 6. Importance of Problem Analysis • Problem Analysis is a prime competence requirement for every worker. • Problem Analysis Skill is an irreducible Analytical Literacy level for every work position. • Problem Analysis Mastery is compulsory for Leaders of teams, units and departments.
  7. 7. Types of Organisational Problems • Technical Problem • Process Problem • Policy Problem • Functional Problem • Cultural Problem • Structural Problem • Procedural Problem • Capacity Problem • People Problem • Location Problem • Materials Problem
  8. 8. Approaches in Problem Analysis  Phenomelogical/ Social Constructivist This involves shedding light on assumptions and definitions based on value.  Positivist/ Functionalistic This is a fact-finding approach that focus on ascertainment of cause and effect.
  9. 9. Model of Problem Analysis
  10. 10. Verifying Subject of Analysis This should be performed by engaging the stakeholders by means of the following: • Interview • Meeting • Observation
  11. 11. Identification of Problems Related to Subject • Brainstorming • Lateral thinking • Mind mapping • Structured inquisition
  12. 12. Major Techniques of Problem Analysis Force Field Analysis Fishbone Analysis Cause and Effect Trail Critical Incidence Analysis Five Whys Interrelationship Digraph
  13. 13. Force Field Analysis Developed by Kurt Lewin. It’s based on the concept of dynamic balance of helping (driving) and hindering (restraining) forces, emphasizing that problem will only occur when there’s imbalance between them.
  14. 14. Applying Force Field Analysis 1 Structuring the Forces • Identify a problem • Identify a better situation • Use brainstorming to identify driving and restraining forces • List the driving forces on opposite side of the restraining forces • Score each force on a scale of 1 to 5 in terms of ease of change (5 = easiest, 1 = hardest) • Identify aggregate on each side (the highest are easier to deal with, while the lowest are more difficult to deal with)
  15. 15. Applying Force Field Analysis 2 Strategies for Solution • Changing strength of a force • Changing direction of a force • Remove some hindering forces • Increase the number of helping forces
  16. 16. Example of Force Field Analysis The management of Odegbami Mills observed that there’s a high rate of staff turnover. Force Field Analysis was used to analyse the problem as follows. Intensive Poaching Restraining Forces Driving Forces Low industry average salary Poor employee morale No future for employees at the top level owner is ready to allow employees to ascend to top Profitability level allows for increase in salary New employee engagement programmes Career path analysis is interesting to employees Ideal Situation Staff turnover is a tenth of its current level Current Situation Staff turnover is dreadfully high Source: Elijah Ezendu, Benchmarking
  17. 17. Fishbone Analysis This was developed by Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa. It’s a methodical way of determining the causes that contribute to an identified effect. It’s also known as cause and effect analysis.
  18. 18. Applying Fishbone Analysis 1. Draw the fishbone diagram 2. List the problem at the head of that fish 3. Label each bone of the fish in one of the following format - 4 P’s (Place, Procedure, Policies, People) - 4 M’s (Manpower, Materials, Methods, Machines) - 4 S’s (Suppliers, Skills, Surroundings, Systems) - PEMPEM (plant, equipment, materials, people, environment, methods) 4. Use brainstorming to identify factors in each category that are causes of the problem 5. Use brainstorming to identify sub-factors under each factor 6. Identify the main causes
  19. 19. Example of Fishbone Analysis The Intelligence Unit of Ndubuisi and Sons Limited identified customer dissatisfaction and linked it to its causes as follows: Customer Dissatisfaction Manpower Materials Machines Methods Poor customer service skill Lack of training Absence of customer-centricity advocacy team Low quality Non-availability of local manufacturer Frequent corrective maintenance Non suitability to some products Defective cross-functional Processes High level of waste Non-value adding work-flows Source: Elijah Ezendu, Benchmarking
  20. 20. Cause and Effect Trail This is a diagram that shows the interrelated causes of a problem and enables the identification of the key cause.
  21. 21. Applying Cause and Effect Trail 1. List the Effect or Problem at the centre 2. Identify and list the causes of that problem around it 3. Use a line from a cause to its effect, placing arrow towards the effect 4. Trace out intervening steps, wherein cause leads to another.
  22. 22. Example of Cause and Effect Trail The Performance Manager of Olutayo Industries conducted enterprise-wide analysis and found out the causes of low employee performance which he depicted using the cause and effect trail as shown below: Low Employee Performance Uncompetitive Pay Lack of Performance Incentives Absence of Flexible Work System Poor Team Work Problematic Software Skill Shortage Poor Communication Non Alignment of Employee & Organisational Objectives Improper Job Design Poor Learning StandardLack of Clear Career Progression Delayed Promotion Environmental Factors Dismal Diversity Leadership Style Poor Work-Life Balance Low Professionalism Low Value for Employees Poor Intrapreneurship Troublesome Organisational Structure Poor motivation Improper empowerment Segregation Between Top Management and Other Employees Obsolete equipments Source: Elijah Ezendu, Problem Analysis
  23. 23. Critical Incidence Analysis This is a method of problem analysis through identification of the total activities of a problem by engagement of people from various parts of a firm’s value chain.
  24. 24. Applying Critical Incidence Analysis • Identify complete activity of a problem • Appoint participants from various areas of the firm’s value chain • Place them in three or four groups • Let each group state the key points about each process step, noting the good and bad occurrences • Then transfer the statement of each group to another, for identification of log jams • Collect the remarks of each group and compile to obtain the final report of log jams. • Identified log jams can be subjected to further analysis using Five whys, Fishbone Analysis or Cause and Effect Trail
  25. 25. Five Whys This problem analysis technique was developed by Sakichi Toyoda for probing further and further into an identified problem, so as to trace the line of causality through diverse levels of effects to the key cause.
  26. 26. Applying Five Whys • Identify the problem • Tender the first why • Tender the second why, probing into the first why • Tender the third why, probing into the second why • Tender the fourth why, probing into the third why • Tender the fifth why, probing into the fourth why • Ascertain the key cause
  27. 27. Interrelationship Digraph This technique is used for tracing the interrelated factors in complex problems, with the aim of proving the relationships between those factors.
  28. 28. Applying Interrelationship Digraph • Identify the problem • Place the problem at the centre • Identify and list the causes of that problem around it • Use a line from a cause to its effect, placing arrow towards the effect • Count the number of arrows heading into and out of each factor • Score each factor based on number of arrows heading out/number of arrows heading into it • The factor with the highest number of arrows heading out is the key cause factor
  29. 29. Uses of Problem Analysis Performance Reengineering & Optimization Decision-Making Operational Excellence Service Excellence Benchmarking Value Based Management Effective Leadership Resolution Competitive Intelligence
  30. 30. Case Study The management of John Codeliza International observed discrepancies in employee morale within the past 3 years. Due to its knack to remain at the top of competitive web in Nigeria, it demanded a repositioning of employee morale to be in convergence with the corporate brand profile. As a result, you were required to conduct a wide spectrum problem analysis in order to identify all the key causes of the dip in employee morale.
  31. 31. Dr Elijah Ezendu is Award-Winning Business Expert & Certified Management Consultant with expertise in Interim Management, Strategy, Competitive Intelligence, Transformation, Restructuring, Business Development, Marketing, Project Management, Cost Management, Leadership, HR, CSR, eBusiness and Software Architecture. He is currently CEO, Rubiini (UAE); Hon. President, Worldwide Independent Inventors Association; Special Advisor, RTEAN; Director, MMNA Investments Limited. He had functioned as Chair, Int’l Board of GCC Business Council (UAE); Senior Partner, Shevach Consulting; Chairman (Certification & Training), Coordinator (Board of Fellows), Lead Assessor & Governing Council Member, Institute of Management Consultants, Nigeria; Lead Resource, Centre for Competitive Intelligence Development; Lead Consultant/ Partner, JK Michaels; Turnaround Project Director, Consolidated Business Holdings Limited; Technical Director, Gestalt; Chief Operating Officer, Rohan Group; Executive Director (Various Roles), Fortuna, Gambia & Malta; Director, The Greens; Chief Advisor/ Partner, D & E; Vice Chairman of Board, Refined Shipping; Director of Programmes & Governing Council Member, Institute of Business Development, Nigeria; Member of TDD Committee, International Association of Software Architects, USA; Member of Strategic Planning and Implementation Committee, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria; Country Manager (Nigeria) & Adjunct Faculty, Regent Business School, South Africa; Adjunct Faculty, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology; Editor-in-Chief & Chairman of Editorial Board, Cost Management Journal; Council Member, Institute of Internal Auditors of Nigeria; Member, Board of Directors (Several Organizations). He holds Doctoral Degree in Management, Master of Business Administration and Fellow of Professional Institutes in North America, UK & Nigeria. He's an author and widely featured speaker, who has been involved in developing Executive Programme Content for Universities. He also serves on Boards of Companies as Non-Executive Director.
  32. 32. Thank You
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